Malachite has been used by artists and craftsmen for millennia—fashioned into jewelry (like the pin, above), carved into decorative objects, even ground-up and added to paints. It is found in the Russian Urals, Africa, Australia, Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Archeologists have found evidence of the stone being mined in Israel over 3000 years ago.
Malachite derives its name from the Greek for “mallow green stone,” due to the stone’s (supposed) resemblance to the mallow plant leaf. And it acquires its banded, green coloration from copper deposits, found near the malachite mines.
One of the most famous uses of Malachite is in St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace (now the Hermitage Museum). The Malachite Room has a fireplace, several columns, and an enormous urn—all made of the beautiful green stone. In Imperial Russia, the royal family would gather here during state events. It was in this room that Romanov brides would be dressed before heading to the Grand Church for their weddings.
The brooch, above, was crafted in Edwardian England (about 1910). It has an oval Malachite cabochon mounted in a silver setting. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
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